Information Technology Careers | Hardware Engineer

Hardware Engineer

Career Area: Engineering

Occupation Group: Electrical, Electronic, and Related Engineering

Salary

Percentile wages tell how much a certain percentage of an overall population in a geographic area or within a given industry or field makes. The percentile wage estimate is the value of a wage below which a certain percent of workers fall.

An example would be the 25th percentile, 25 percent of workers employed in that occupation earn less and 75 percent earn more than the estimated wage value. At the 75th percentile, 75 percent of workers employed in that occupation earn less and 25 percent earn more than the estimated wage value.

A typical Hardware Engineer earns the following wages (national and state):

State

The average salary in North Carolina for those pursuing this career is $81,470

*The salaries depicted here are representative of the range of salaries posted in job listings over the past year. Living wage in North Carolina is $30,000.

National

The average salary in the United States for those pursuing this career is $95,655

*The salaries depicted here are representative of the range of salaries posted in job listings over the past year. Living wage in North Carolina is $30,000.

What Does a Professional in this Career Do?

Designs and develops computer hardware such as circuit boards, chips, modems, and keyboards. Works with computer software engineers and developers to improve technology.

Employment Trends

The job demand and job growth statistics shown here were derived from job posts over the past year. Expected job growth projections are extrapolated from year-over-year job post listing history.

Job demand and job growth is expected at the following rates:

LocationGrowth
North Carolina44+10.5%
Nationwide3333+5.4%

Skills

A professional in this position typically utilizes the following skills in the course of everyday work in this exciting and challenging field:

Baseline Skills

The following are baseline skills every Hardware Engineer is expected to have in order to experience success in this field:

  • Communication Skills: The ability to convey information to another effectively and efficiently.
  • Teamwork / Collaboration: Experience working in collaborative efforts with a team to achieve a common goal or to complete a task in the most effective and efficient way.
  • Troubleshooting: Troubleshooting or dpanneuring is a form of problem solving, often applied to repair failed products or processes on a machine or a system.
  • Research: Experience performing creative and systematic work to understand a product, market, or customer, either before building a new solution, or to troubleshoot an existing issue
  • Problem Solving: Problem solving consists of using generic or ad hoc methods, in an orderly manner, for finding solutions to problems.

Specialized Skills

These skills are specific to working in this career:

  • Python: Python is a widely used high-level programming language for general-purpose programming, created by Guido van Rossum and first released in 1991.
  • Computer Engineering: Computer engineering is a discipline that integrates several fields of electrical engineering and computer science required to develop computer hardware and software.
  • Hardware Experience: Experience developing hardware that provides a user-friendly experience, allowing the user to interact with the software or hardware in a natural and intuitive way.
  • C++: C++ (pronounced cee plus plus ) is a general-purpose programming language.
  • Computer Vision: Working experience of Computer Vision, which is an interdisciplinary field that deals with how computers can be made for gaining high-level understanding from digital images or videos. From the perspective of engineering, it seeks to automate tasks that the human visual system can do. Computer vision tasks include methods for acquiring, processing, analyzing and understanding digital images, and extraction of high-dimensional data from the real world in order to produce numerical or symbolic information, e.g., in the forms of decisions.

Distinguishing Skills

Any Hardware Engineer that possesses the following skills will stand out against the competition:

  • Deep Learning: Working experience of Deep Learning. Deep Learning is a subfield of machine learning concerned with algorithms inspired by the structure and function of the brain called artificial neural networks
  • Embedded Systems: An embedded system is a computer system with a dedicated function within a larger mechanical or electrical system, often with real-time computing constraints.
  • OpenCV: Working experience of OpenCV (Open Source Computer Vision), which is a library of programming functions mainly aimed at real-time computer vision. Originally developed by Intel, it was later supported by Willow Garage then Itseez (which was later acquired by Intel. The library is cross-platform and free for use under the open-source BSD license. OpenCV supports the deep learning frameworks TensorFlow, Torch/PyTorch and Caffe.
  • Graphics Processing Units (GPU): Working experience of Graphics Processing Units (GPU). A graphics processing unit (GPU) is a specialized electronic circuit designed to rapidly manipulate and alter memory to accelerate the creation of images in a frame buffer intended for output to a display device. GPUs are used in embedded systems, mobile phones, personal computers, workstations, and game consoles.
  • Image Processing: In imaging science, image processing is processing of images using mathematical operations by using any form of signal processing for which the input is an image, a series of images or a video, such as a photograph or video frame; the output of image processing may be either an image or a set of characteristics or parameters related to the image.

Salary Boosting Skills

A professional who wishes to excel in this career path may consider developing the following highly valued skills:

  • Systemverilog: In the semiconductor and electronic design industry, SystemVerilog is a combined hardware description language and hardware verification language based on extensions to Verilog.
  • Verilog: Verilog, standardized as IEEE 1364, is a hardware description language (HDL) used to model electronic systems.
  • Graphics Processing Units (GPU): Working experience of Graphics Processing Units (GPU). A graphics processing unit (GPU) is a specialized electronic circuit designed to rapidly manipulate and alter memory to accelerate the creation of images in a frame buffer intended for output to a display device. GPUs are used in embedded systems, mobile phones, personal computers, workstations, and game consoles.

Experience

This position typically requires the following level of experience. The numbers presented in the pie charts below were derived from actual job posts over the past year. Not all job postings list experience requirements.

Experience Required%
0 to 2 years29%
3 to 5 years46%
6 to 8 years13%

Many of the programs offered through NC State are designed for working professionals who need additional credentials to enhance existing work experience.

Students who do not have the expected level of experience may wish to look into internship and employment opportunities.

Common Job Titles

It is possible to find work in this field in positions commonly listed as the following job titles:

  • Hardware Engineer
  • Computer Engineer
  • Computer Vision Engineer
  • Salesclerk Hardware
  • Senior Hardware Engineer

Similar Occupations

If you are interested in exploring similar occupations, you may want to research the following job titles: